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Should I let my insurance company handle this or I should hire an attorney?

Los Angeles, CA |

I was in a car accident, Police Report indicates that I was at fault that I ran a red light (EB) at 40mph, 1st car that struck me was heading SB, 2nd car was going NB, with that impact, I slided over to the 3rd car WB waiting to turn left (SB). The 3rd car driver suffered whiplash, was sent to ER. My policy limit is 50k/personal injury. 3rd car driver has claimed 36k but my insurance company approved about 15k, 3rd car driver has now hired an attorney as the reimbusement was too low and 3rd car driver has resumed treatment.

Attorney Answers 15

Posted

Let your insurance company handle the matter. Your case will most likely settle for the policy limits unless you have assets, properties, businesses, etc., in which case you are inadequately insured. If that is the case, you will need to hire a private lawyer. For now, allow your insurance to handle the matter and wait to see if it resolves. Best of luck!

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for your comment.

Fernando Davin Vargas

Fernando Davin Vargas

Posted

You are most welcome. Feel free to contact me for additional information. Best of luck!

Posted

If there is a chance that the insurance company will not offer what is necessary to resolve this case then you might want to consider hiring an attorney to protect you personally. Some insurance companies, although they won't tell you will protect you in the event of an excess judgement.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for your comment, I will follow-up with my insurance company for any updates.

David Ian Schoen

David Ian Schoen

Posted

Good luck

Posted

Let your insurance handle this. They hire attorneys for this situation daily. Only time you may need to hire personal representation is if the case is worth more than your policy has available.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for your comment. I hope it won't though.

Posted

Let your insurance company handle it. The claims with likely settle for your policy limits. Good luck.

This information is not intended as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship between you and any attorney. Such information is intended for general informational purposes only.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for your comment.

Posted

Let your insurance company handle this claim. You may consider hiring an attorney only if your insurance company refuses to defend you. Best of luck.

This answer is provided by California Accident Attorney Manuel A. Juarez, Esq., 510-206-4492. Abogado de Accidentes de Autos de California: 510-206-4492. Abogado de Lesiones de Accidentes de Autos, provides answers of a general context. These answers are not intended to form an attorney client relationship. Oakland Abogado Accidentes Autos, Abogado de Lesiones Personales, Abogado de Accidentes de carros, Abogado de accidentes de Peatones, practices in Antioch, Berkeley, Concord, Oakland, Hayward, Martinez, Newark, Richmond, San Francisco and San Rafael. El abogado de lesiones y heridos en accidentes de autos, is licensed only in California. This information is good only in California and it is not to be taken as legal advice on car accidents, personal injury, divorce, bankruptcy or in any other type of situation. Esta respuesta es del Abogado de Accidentes de Autos, Abogado de Lesiones Personales, Abogado de Heridos en Accidentes de carros, Manuel A. Juárez, 510-206-4492. Abogado Hispano de Accidentes, Abogado de Divorcios, Abogado Latino de Accidentes, Abogado de Accidentes de Oakland, Hayward, San Francisco, California. Estas respuesta son solo para información general y no consisten en consejo legal sobre divorcios, mantención de esposas, mantención de hijos o bancarrotas. Las respuestas son comentarios legales que no forman una relación de abogado y cliente. Manuel Juarez, Esq., esta licenciado solo en el Estado de California.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for your comment.

Posted

Your insurance company will attempt to settle the matter within your policy limits and will defend you if a law suit is commenced against you. While there is a strong possibility that all claims against you will resolve within your policy limits, you would be well advised to retain private counsel to defend your interests to the extent that you have financial exposure beyond the policy limits. As a practical matter, your private counsel, unless the matter reaches a trial, will most likely be monitoring the activities of the defense lawyers retained by your insurance company, so your private counsel's bill should not be anywhere near as high as it otherwise could be.

Best wishes for a swift and just resolution !

Sincerely,

Eddie Friedman

I practice in the State of New York and to the extent this question involves the law(s) of other states, my response should be deemed to be educational only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Even for matters involving New York law, no response should be relied upon as legal advice unless the person asking the question has consulted with me in a direct consultation. (i.e., in-person or by telephone.)

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for your detailed comment.

Posted

You are free to retain local independent counsel as well.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for your comment. I will gather as much information as I could for the time being until my Insurance Company receives a Complaint.

Posted

This is an issue to be handled by your insurance company. If the issue does not resolve, your insurance company will send the claim to an attorney who will represent your interests.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for your comment.

Posted

let the insurance handle the matter.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for your comment.

Posted

Your insurance policy provides you with two imporant benefits: one is to provide "indemnity" for "covered" claims (which means to pay out money for covered claims against you) the other benefit is to provide you with a legal defense if you are sued for a claim which may be covered. Both are important to you, and both can be work alot of money to you. With the possibility of multiple claims against you, you may not have sufficient insurance to cover the "indemnity" payments for all the claims. The insurance company may try to avoid being required to defend you against all the claims by simply offering up a payment of the entire "policy limits", but this could leave you without a defense attorney paid for by the insurance company. If you are about to be sued, having the insurance company provide you with a lawyer the insurer pays for is a valuable right, which you want to be careful not to lose. If you have assets, or have a job in which you earn a significant amount of money, you could still be exposed to liability and/or a judgment over and above your insurance policy limits. You may want to seek independent legal advice to oversee what the insurance company and its assigned defense counsel do when they are trying to settle the case so that your can avoid being left without an attorney when you may still be exposed to liability.

Every legal dispute has its own particular facts and law applicable to it. The comment given above is based on relatively general information given in this particular inquiry, and therefore the comment gives relatively generally applicable suggestions. The above comment, however, is not meant to be specific legal advice for your particular situation, and is not intended to be an exhaustive analysis of your situation. I cannot and do not give any guarantees about this accuracy of this comment for your particular situation. Unless you formally retain me as your attorney and enter a written agreement with my law firm, I am not your attorney. If you feel you need to retain an attorney, feel free to call me or another attorney who you feel would be appropriate for your needs.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for your detailed comment. Though there were multiple cars involved, only the 3rd car driver had made claims of bodily injury. The others only came forward with their property damages. I can only hope it won't escalate further.

Posted

I say let your insurance take care of this matter. And like some of the attorneys said, if you have asset you want to protect, you probably want to hire a private attorney as well in case they go after your asset.

*Disclaimer: This response does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and I. I am not your lawyer and I am not representing you in the underlying issue stated in your question. The response I have offered is not intended to be relied upon, you should seek out an attorney to assist in this matter. You may contact me directly at (415) 362-6765 ext.120; website: www.wc-advocateforjustice.com. (Attorney for Law Offices of William E. Weiss)

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for your comment. All these comments are very helpful.

Wendy Ha Chau

Wendy Ha Chau

Posted

Dear Asker - yeah first have your insurance take care of the matter, then after you find out the exact damage amount and what the 3rd injured person is seeking. See if it is below your policy limit. It might be below your coverage and then you are fine.... Just make sure you give your hired attorney time to work on your case. Statute of limitation is two yrs from date of your accident. I would say if there is no results after 6 months of date of injury then you should start looking for a private attorney to take on the matter. But your insurance should take care of it since you are after all paying them for their services.

Wendy Ha Chau

Wendy Ha Chau

Posted

Your insurance should know better to have them sign a "release of all claims" after you settle it with each of the injured parties/ plaintiffs.

Asker

Posted

If I may, what do you mean by "if there is no results after 6 months of date of injury you should start looking for a private attorney to take on the matter."?

Wendy Ha Chau

Wendy Ha Chau

Posted

You did not specified a date of accident so I don't know how far in the process you are but if you do not like what you are getting from your insurance then I suggest hire an private attorney as well. I don't know your dates. So I am assuming that your insurance company is at the negotiating stage with the 3rd injured party. Well if she doesn't get enough for her damages she might go after you, then you will need a private attorney to protect your asset. I don't know any details about to your case to decide if you should get another attorney at this time. You said there is just one more person left in your 3-4 car accident. It might all settled and damages may not go over the policy limits.

Asker

Posted

Thank you for your clarification. Almost a year has passed and only 1 person has came forward with medical claims. My Insurance Company has just received a letter from the injured party's attorney requesting to release my policy limit, in which I did. I am just hoping this can be settled within my policy limit as the injury sustained was a whiplash, but I guess I should never take it lightly. Do I have the rights to have my Insurance Company release all the medical claims that the injured party has submitted?

Wendy Ha Chau

Wendy Ha Chau

Posted

Yes, you do. If the injured person submitted it, you can get a copy.

Asker

Posted

Thank you so very much for your time.

Wendy Ha Chau

Wendy Ha Chau

Posted

You are most welcome. :)

Posted

Without a doubt, get your insurance company involved. They should have a "duty to defend" under your policy.

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Wendy Ha Chau

Wendy Ha Chau

Posted

Exactly!

Asker

Posted

Thank you for your comment, I hope to have it behind of me already.

Posted

Definitely hand it over to your insurance company. Why take a chance, and plus if you are determined to be liable later they may not cover you if you failed to report it --- or timely report it. Provided you have proper coverage, they will also provide you an attorney if necessary. The best thing you can do is report it to them as soon as possible.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for your comment.

Posted

That what auto insurance companies are for! Let them handle this matter for you.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for your comment. I hope they will be able to settle it without exceeding the policy limit.

Posted

If you are inadequately insured, and cannot settle within the policy limits, then private legal counsel should explore the liability of your insurance agent to you for being inadequately insured. If your insurance carrier views your misconduct as criminal/uninsurable, you should hire private legal counsel at your insurance carrier's expense a.k.a. "Cumis counsel".

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for your comment.

Robert Andrew Michael Burns

Robert Andrew Michael Burns

Posted

You're welcome. Best wishes.

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